F. L. Griggs

F L Griggs
F L Griggs
Nina Griggs
Nina Griggs

Frederick Landseer Maur Griggs (1876-1938), etcher, draughtsman and illustrator, came to Campden in 1903, and moved to a house on the High Street in 1906, which he re-named Dover’s House, living there for nearly thirty years. In 1922 he set up the Dover’s House Printing Press. 

In 1999 a biography of Griggs by Jerrold Northrop Moore, was published (F.L. Griggs: The Architecture of Dreams, O.U.P., (1999)) which Tim Jones reviewed in Notes and Queries Vol III, No. 2.  He says: 

“While Campden gave a daily focus to Griggs’s personal nostalgia for a mythic England of a medieval golden age, it also involved him in a passionate defence of everything that was old and beautiful. As Moore says, “ . . . Griggs came to see the entire Campden district as his parish for preservation – if need be from the townspeople themselves.” So, he helped to save St. James’s church from absurd restoration in 1911, founded the Campden Society, helped secure Dover’s Hill and the Coneygree for the National Trust and campaigned to have new electricity and telephone lines routed underground. He also designed local war memorials and inn signs, built with meticulous, even obsessive, attention to detail a magnificent house for himself (New Dover’s House), and published a book of Campden etchings. Campden owes him much.

Robert Dover’s “dear old hill” was a special place for Griggs, where he walked and thought and where he proposed to Nina Blanche Muir, who he married on 9th January 1922.  Three of their five children were born in Dover’s House, John Ceolfid, 1922; Marjery, 1923 and Millicent, 1926.  Griggs saved Dover’s Hill for posterity in 1926.

Griggs the conservationist

In his time at Dover’s House Griggs renovated Miles House in 1917, Westcote House in 1926, Commercial House (Post Office) and the Old Kings Arms in 1929.  He designed Campden’s War Memorial in 1919 and several of the wrought iron High Street shop signs.

In 1925 he founded the Campden Society to protect the town’s heritage and saved Dover’s Hill for Campden in 1926.

Dover’s Court House

Griggs had the idea of building his own Arts & Crafts house after seeing Woodchester and Rodmarton in the early 1920s. He started in 1926 by buying the Stanley farmhouse (now Stamford House) in Leysbourne with orchard & fields behind. Work on his new house began in 1927 and on October 2nd 1930 the family left Dover’s House for the still unfinished Dover’s Court.

As Jones concludes in his review:

… Grigg’s life ended in tragedy: the 1929 fall in the etchings market snatched away most of his livelihood and plunged him into debt, so that he had to put his fine house up for sale, and he died at the early age of sixty-two.

To find out more about Dover’s Court, download Roger Johnson’s article below.

Read the full Listing entry on the Historic England website.


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